5 Steps to NCAA Basketball Gambling Success

NCAAB Player Passing Under Pressure With a Sportsbook Background

The best way to learn how to win consistently as a sports gambler is to specialize in one area. If you decide to focus on NCAA basketball, there are some simple steps to help you get started.

The five steps on this page help you form a solid foundation for NCAA basketball gambling success. They aren’t everything you need to know, but you can’t become a consistent winner without this solid foundation.

Start using these five steps to NCAA basketball gambling success today, and continue building on your foundation as you learn more.

1 – Home Court Rules and Tendencies

The title of this section includes home court rules. This doesn’t mean the rules of the home curt. Instead, it means that the home court is a large advantage for every NCAA basketball team. If you follow the tendencies for every basketball team in the NCAA you can see that they perform better at home than on the road.

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, because this is true in almost every sport and league. But you need to use these facts to help you make better college basketball bets.

The home court tendency is so important that I recommend not betting on any road teams, no matter what, until you build a consistent track record of making profit betting on home teams.

I know that some road teams do have value, but it’s simply too hard for most NCAA basketball gamblers to recognize value enough to make a profit from it. Be very careful on any game where the road team looks like it offers the best value.

NCAAB Player Driving the Ball

You also need to continue looking for trends and tendencies just like the home court one. Track as much as you can to see if you can find other tendencies that help you make more profitable college basketball wagers.

The more tendencies you can find the more you can make. But make sure that the tendencies are real ones. You need a large sample size before you place your money on teams based on short term tendencies.

The good news is that you can look at past game data to test the tendencies and see how far back they’re true. This is an important step that you can’t afford to skip if you want to make money gambling on NCAA basketball.

2 – NCAA Basketball Is Nothing like the NBA

Many NBA gamblers think that they can start betting on NCAA basketball games without making any changes. While some things are similar between the two; the fact is that for the most part college basketball is a different animal than the NBA.

Some college basketball gamblers stick with one bet type and others use 2 or 3. In the long run you need to make any bet types that offer value.

In the NBA, the teams with the most stars, and biggest stars, tend to dominate the games. While talent is important in the NCAA, there are more teams, which mean the talent is spread out more.

And some of the most talented players in college basketball don’t have enough experience to perform at the top of their ability range.

The offensive and defensive schemes used in college basketball also differ from what you see in the NBA. This can make the transition as a gambler from the NBA to the NCAA challenging.

When you have something that works when you bet on NBA games you can test it for the college game. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s always going to work.

3 – Forget About the Big Conferences if You Want to Win

A mistake many NCAA basketball gamblers make is to place bets on the teams that are always on television and who belong to the big basketball conference. And they ignore all of the teams playing in the other conferences. This is a big mistake.

The fastest way to start making profit betting on college basketball is to become a true expert on the teams in a smaller conference. It’s easy to get information about these teams, and with enough work you can quickly become an expert.

When you become an expert on a smaller basketball conference, you can find more lines that offer value. The challenge is usually getting enough action, or money, down on these games.

The sportsbooks focus on the games that are going to get the most action, so sometimes their lines on smaller games are sloppy. You can take advantage of this and quickly learn how to make a consistent profit.

A trick that I use is ranking all of the teams in a middle sized or small conference based on the recruiting rankings of the players on the team. This can give you a quick way to identify the best teams in the league.

4 – Totals, Point Spreads, or Moneylines?

The 3 main ways to bet on NCAA basketball games are listed in the title of this section. Most sportsbooks offer each of these 3 options, so they’re easy bets to make.

Some college basketball gamblers stick with one bet type and others use 2 or 3. In the long run you need to make any bet types that offer value.

And if you build your skills in evaluating games enough you’re going to use all 3 types of wagers.

But you should pick 1 of the 3 bet types and stick with it until you’re making a consistent profit on college basketball. You need to learn how to identify value to the best of your ability, and the easiest way to do this is to focus on one thing.

You can start with any of the 3, but I recommend starting with moneyline wagers. This doesn’t mean that the moneyline is easier to make a profit on than the point spread or the total. But it is easier to pick the winner than guess the point spread or the total.

Of course, you have to make sure that you win enough moneyline wagers to show a profit, because when you bet on the favorite and lose you lose more than when you bet on the point spread. On the other side of this, if you bet the moneyline on an underdog and win, you win more than when you bet on the point spread.

5 – Evaluating Talent and Experience Effectively

College basketball is unique in the basketball world because players only play for 1 to 4 seasons. The top players tend to only play 1 or 2 seasons before going to the NBA.

This makes sense, because they risk injury if they stay in college longer than they need to. But this also hurts them from a gambler’s point of view, because they never get enough experience to fully impact games in their third or fourth seasons.

You have to learn how to evaluate talent and experience in NCAA basketball to become a consistent winner. This can be much more difficult than it sounds.

Some players, even with 4 years experience, are never going to be as good as some of the players that leave after 1 or 2 seasons. But experience plays a big role when you’re evaluating college basketball games.

NCAAB Duke Player Speaking to His Coach

You can’t find a formula to adjust based on talent and experience, so you have to use your best judgment. The best way to improve your judgment is to watch the college players as often as possible.

The top first and second year players in college might be better than the top experienced players, but by how much? And where do you draw the line? Is the 10th best freshman more valuable or less valuable than the top third and fourth year players?

This is something that most college basketball gamblers struggle with their entire career. You’re never going to get this perfect, but you have to do the best you can.

I’ve found that experience plays a big role at tournament time. The best talent usually does well, but the teams with the most experience often do better than expected against slightly better talent. Keep this in mind every time you bet on an NCAA basketball game.


When you’re betting on NCAA basketball games, always remember that the home court rules. Betting on road teams is almost always a long term losing strategy. And you also need to understand all of the differences between handicapping NBA games and NCAA games.

Smart NCAA basketball gamblers make profits where most gamblers don’t, like the middle sized and small conferences. They also use the best betting options and lines consistently. The final step is learning how to separate talent and experience and how each influences results.

Use these 5 steps so you can bet on NCAA basketball just like winning gamblers do.